Page 25 - BusinessWest August 3, 2020
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Small Steps for Big Wins
Staying Focused, Staying Healthy Are Keys to Working at Home
WBy Sarah Rose Stack
ork-life balance in 2020 has been
different, to say the least. And many
people have unexpectedly found themselves in a new office ... at home. This trend does not seem to be going away (see story on page 22). In fact, many businesses plan to extend their work-from-home policies through the end of the year and are considering more permanent work-from-home plans.
appreciate the normalcy, you will do better work, and you will find it easier to turn off your work at the end of the day.
• Schedule Tasks, but Set Limits. Stay orga- nized and on task by being clear about how you will spend your time. Schedule appointments with yourself to complete work. Limit tasks based on how much time it would normally take to complete them in the office.
• Try Yoga to Increase Focus. Did you know certain yoga poses may increase focus and con- centration? Try yoga in the morning before work, or mid-afternoon to increase your focus and stay active. Poses for focus include tree, eagle, warrior III, half-moon, dancer, extended hand to toe, side plank, crow, and headstand.
• Choose Healthy Snacks and Meals. With a full range of access to unlimited food and snacks, it can be easy to fall off track and overdo it on the junk food. This obviously can lead to fatigue and become problematic if it becomes habitual. Main- taining a healthy diet with good portions will keep you fueled and energized.
• Drink More Water. Keeping hydrated is criti- cal for well-being. Again, with full access to your kitchen, you may be prone to drink more sugary drinks, coffee, or soda than you normally would. Or you may not be taking in as much water as you usually do. Keep a water glass at your desk (but not near electronics) so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.
Acknowledge emotions that are coming up as you navigate a new work situation and then take steps to redirect the narrative.
• Practice Gratitude. Showing appreciation can help you feel more positive emotions. Thank your colleagues when they help you with some- thing. Take a moment to be grateful for the oppor- tunity to work from home right now. Studies show that people who feel and express gratitude gener- ally have a greater level of happiness.
• Go Outside. During social distancing, you can still leave your home to go for a walk or sim- ply enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch. Research has shown that going outside can improve your short-term memory, restore mental energy, relieve stress, improve concentration, and increase your creativity.
• Stay Connected to Colleagues. While you can’t swing by a co-worker’s office to chit-chat, you can take a few minutes each day to connect. Whether it’s a private Facebook group, Teams, or group chat, take some time to check in. Talk.
Continued on page 44
 “Put your full workday in. Remain committed to your mission and vision while working. Your mind will appreciate the normalcy, you will do better work, and you will find it
easier to turn off your work at the end of the day.”
• Set Ground Rules with Your New ‘Colleagues.’ If you are working remotely due to COVID-19, chances are that there are more people hun- kered down at home too. To stay productive and avoid frustration, communicate with your family about boundaries so that you minimize inter- ruptions and distractions.
• Set Up Your Home Office. Remember your first day of work, when you brought in a box of favorite things to keep you inspired and productive?
      If you are working from home, the expectation is that you are working from home. However, if you are not accustomed to this new environment, it can be tricky to perform to your fullest potential while also maintaining work-life balance. You and your employees may need to take additional steps to invest in overall well-being in order to remain effective at work.
Here are some things to think about, focusing on healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Staying focused and on task is key for produc- tivity. Keep your mind clear and focused. To do that:
• Take a Break. Step away from screens occa- sionally. Don’t forget to give yourself a few min- utes throughout the day to recharge in the same way that you would if you were in the office.
• Fully Participate. Nothing will help you enjoy your time off more then a job well done during your time on. Be engaged during meetings. Put your full workday in. Remain committed to your mission and vision while working. Your mind will
Take some time to set up your new dedicated home-office space. Keep your work area orga- nized and separate from your ‘life’ area. Even set- ting up a simple desk or table in a dedicated space will help you get into work mode when it is time. It can also prevent your work from overrunning your kitchen, living room, bedroom, or all of the above.
Working — and doing everything else — at home can leave us feeling sluggish. Stay energized to feel and do your best.
• Take a Walk. If you’re taking a 10-minute break, don’t waste it scrolling on your phone. Go outside and take a walk. The combination of sun- light, fresh air, change of scenery, and movement can give you an injection of energy to get back at it.
• Stand Up. On a conference call or virtual meeting? Stand up or even walk or pace during the call. The walk can increase your focus, and you can also get some exercise at the same time.
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